The Red Dragon Canoe Club was formed in 1887 in Camden, N.J., and absorbed the Keystone Canoe Club, formed in 1883.
After two Camden clubhouses were destroyed by fire, the club moved across the Delaware River, first to Bridesburg and then to Wissinoming, where members rented a mansion and had cottages along the riverbank.
Red Dragon was a men’s social and outing club, engaged in canoe racing, sailing and camping excursions.
A search committee was formed around the time the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge was being proposed to go through the club property, and in 1922, the committee found the vacant Shipman Mansion in Edgewater Park, N.J.
Even as the sale was being negotiated, the club moved into the mansion, and a year later bought the mansion and 4 acres for $8,000.
An influx of young Comet sailors in 1940 transformed the club and commenced an era of one-design sailboat racing that produced several national and world champions.
A spring plank-shad dinner and an annual (formal) mess that date back to the 19th century are still among a year-round series of social events held at the club.